BSBA Course in Botanical Illustration


BSBA 1 Year Course ‘Aspects of Botanical Illustration’ 2018 – 2019

Botanical Illustration is an age old tradition where art and science meet to depict a realistic representation of plants and enable identification. Botanical art is an accurate and botanically correct plant portrait with an emphasis on the aesthetic and wall appearance.

Now in its tenth year, our one-year course offers an introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of both botanical art and illustration.

Who is the course designed for?

If you have a passion for plants and would like to capture their essence using close observation and detail, then you will enjoy this course. Taught by three experienced and enthusiastic tutors, you will be introduced to a variety of materials, media and skills needed to produce a botanical illustration.

We cater for both beginners and students wishing to further develop their skills. We find that having a mix of beginners and more experienced painters who can share their knowledge is advantageous to all.

What will I gain?

Starting in September, each monthly session will focus on a particular aspect of botanical Illustration from observational drawing, mixed media and watercolour. Practical demonstrations of techniques, followed by simple exercises and one-to-one tuition will give you the confidence and skills to learn and improve. We aim to provide a structured day in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Free BSBA Membership – Anyone joining the course for the first time (who is not currently a member of the BSBA) or continuing for a second year will automatically be enrolled as a BSBA member free of charge for the duration of the course. See Membership tab for further details of our monthly meetings.

Will there be homework?

Occasional homework assignments will be given to complete work started in class. These will not be formally assessed, although a group show and discussion may be used to build and share experiences. Some sessions may require students to prepare drawings or collate visual references prior to a specific class, or to work towards producing an assignment in their own time.

What does the programme include?
  • Drawing, observation and basic botany
  • Keeping a sketchbook/journal (new students will be issued with an A3 sketchbook)
  • Contemporary composition and design in botanical art
  • Art work Presentation
  • Experience of mixed media; graphite, coloured pencils and pen and wash.
  • Watercolour painting techniques; wet-into-wet, transparent overlays and detailed brush work
  • Colour mixing and matching
  • Comprehensive notes and handouts for each session including materials required



Each workshop is held on a Sunday from 10am – 3.30pm on the following dates:
2018: September 9th, October 14th, November 11th, December 9th
2019: January 8th, February 10th, March 10th, April 14th, May 13th, June 9th, July 14th


£335 for the full year (11 sessions) payable in two instalments; a deposit of £100 to be sent with your enrolement form. The balance of £235 by September 1st 2018.
Any student, who is on the current course for the first time, is eligible to re- enrol if they wish and should pay their deposit by the 30th July 2018.

Application Process

Places will be limited to 16 students and will be allocated on the following basis:

  • Firstly, to students who have already completed one year of study.
  • Secondly, to anyone joining the course for the first time.
  • Thirdly, to any students who have completed more than two years of study.

There is no scrutiny for suitability, but once you have accepted a place and full fees have been paid, there is no entitlement to a refund, unless your place can be filled from the reserve list.


The Centre of England Arts, near Hampton in Arden, Solihull, West Midlands. The dedicated art studio in a converted barn is spacious and light and includes fabulous under floor heating. The Centre is easily accessible via the M6, M42, A45 and M40. The nearest train station is at Hampton-in-Arden, which is approximately half a mile away. Please note that there is no bus service from the train station to the venue on Sundays.

Please go to for travel directions and a map.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries, or would like to request a list of materials, or a course leaflet and booking form.
For further information contact the Society.


© Jeni Neale